New York officials introduced the Excelsior Pass app earlier this year as the country’s first government-issued vaccine passport, designed to help jump-start the state’s economy.
But newly obtained documents show that the state may have larger plans for the app and that the cost to taxpayers may be much higher than originally stated.
The state’s three-year contract with I.B.M. — obtained by an advocacy group and shared with The New York Times — to develop and run the pass establishes the groundwork for a future where at least 10 million people in the state would have an Excelsior Pass. It would provide them with a QR code that would not only verify their vaccination status but could also include other personal details like proof of age, driver’s license and other health records.